This chicken and peppers recipe is a classic Italian "Pollo e Peperoni", a Summer version of chicken cacciatore where red bell peppers are used instead of tomato sauce. Bone-in chicken breasts and/or thighs are slowly cooked in a white wine sauce, a simple, one-pot, healthy dinner made with only five ingredients.
This is an Italian dish that is simple enough to make for a weeknight dinner but also so delicate and refined that is perfect for entertaining.
It is very easy to make, it can be made ahead of time and warmed up before serving.
The bell peppers and the white wine add a smooth sweet flavor that combines well with the delicate chicken meat.
Why bone-in chicken
I have seen recipes using deboned skinless chicken, but you will be missing a lot of flavors and creamy texture if you do not use the bones.
It would be like making chicken stock just with chicken meat. The bones add flavor to the sauce, the cartilage adds creaminess and the skin keeps the meat moist.
My favorite piece is the chicken thigh, as it is juicier than the breast.
Although, a whole chicken works fine for my family, as my husband likes breasts.
However, if I had to choose, I would make this Italian chicken with peppers using only bone-in chicken thighs.
This recipe uses a lot of bell peppers. It is a great recipe when you have many peppers to use.
- Red bell peppers: I like to use red peppers as I like the color and their taste. You can use a combination of red, green, and yellow peppers for a more colorful option.
- Red onion: I find red onions sweeter than regular ones, but you can substitute it with a regular onion.
- White wine: use a dry white wine or Marsala. This is a key ingredient to the recipe, do not skip this ingredient. Skip it only if you are serving it to children. Although the alcohol evaporates while cooking.
- Herbs: to add flavor, I use thyme, but you can also use basil or parsley instead.
- Salt, black pepper, and olive oil for seasoning: you do not need extra virgin olive oil. Regular olive oil is ok.
Making Italian chicken and peppers
- Cut the chicken into eight parts and separate the wings from the breast.
- Clean and slice the onion and the celery
Hint: cut each breast into two pieces so they are the same size as the thighs and need the same cooking time
- Stir-fry with olive oil
- Add the chicken and stir until browned evenly
- Pour ½ cup of Marsala or white wine and let it evaporate for a few minutes
- Add the peppers cut into long strips and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Add some parsley or basil for decoration.
How to serve it
You can prepare this chicken for a family meal, or for a dinner party as long as your guests are sitting at the table.
You need a knife and fork to remove the flesh from the bone. I wouldn't serve it at a buffet.
It is a very easy recipe to make, and you can make it the day before and just warm it up before serving it.
As a side dish, you may be tempted to serve it with pasta.
NEVER, if you want to eat it the Italian way. Italians never eat chicken with pasta as pasta is traditionally identified as not refined enough to serve with chicken.
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For a healthy dinner, I serve it with black rice.
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📋 Italian Chicken with Peppers
- Cut the chicken into 6 parts and separate the wings from the breast.1 free range chicken
- Clean and slice the onion and the celery1 onion, 1 stalk of celery
- Stir-fry with olive oil3 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the chicken and stir until brown evenly
- Add the peppers cut into long strips and season with salt and pepper.salt & pepper, 2 red peppers
- Pour ½ cup of Marsala or white wine and let it evaporate for few minutes½ cup Marsala wine
- Add the thyme3 sprig thyme
- Cover and cook for 40 minutes.
- Stir occasionally
- Add some parsley or basil for decoration and serve